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Image for article titled 18 Demonic Films to Stoke Your Satanic Panic

Screenshot: The Babadook/Causeway Pictures

Demons can be a little hard to define, and sometimes in horror the term is used as a catch-all for anything that isn’t a ghost, werewolf, witch, vampire, or other readily definable monster. Satan is sometimes in the mix, but only sometimes.

The one constant, at least in the movies: A demon is an independent entity up to no good. It generally manifests from some other place that may or may not be what some religions think of as hell; often, they can possess us poor mortals and force us to do their bidding and/or say very bad swears. Sometimes they’re horrific in appearance (who’s to judge?), though they can also look a bit like Megan Fox, or dress in a very smart top hat and cape like our gentle friend the Babadook. Though they typically present as pure evil, the most interesting movies tend to suggest that the real demons are the metaphorical ones inside of us all.

Whether the power of Christ compels you to open HBO Max or you’re feeling like it’s an excellent day for an exorcism, here are a handful of demonic films to stoke your satanic panic in the lead-up to Halloween.

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